The Pacific Pickleball league team format will rebrand to Major League Pickleball Australia, with its inaugural event to happen in Brisbane this weekend.
First-Ever International Expansion
Major League Pickleball (MLP) has announced its first-ever international expansion through a partnership with the Pacific Pickleball League (PPL).
Pacific Pickleball recently inaugurated an Australian professional league and welcomed 33 distinguished local pickleball athletes into Australia’s latest sports franchises. These are the Sydney Smash, Melbourne Mavericks, Brisbane Breakers, and Gold Coast Glory.
Henceforth, all these teams will compete under the newly established Major League Pickleball Australia banner, and the PP team events will align with the MLP format. The Pacific Pickleball brand will continue to preside over Open and Masters events, adhering to the traditional tour framework.
An Unprecedented Surge In Popularity
It’s worth noting that pickleball has witnessed remarkable growth in the U.S., boasting a player base of over 36 million individuals. Pickleball is experiencing a similar unprecedented surge in popularity in Australia, where an estimated 25,000 enthusiasts already engage in the sport wherever space permits.
MLP CEO Julio DePietro says, ”This partnership is a landmark moment for the sport of pickleball. Major League Pickleball is at the forefront of standardizing the best professional pickleball league, not just in the U.S. but globally. The MLP format is an amazing way to create even more excitement at these already electric team events.”
Meanwhile, Adam Thompson, CEO & co-founder of Pacific Pickleball, commented, “By partnering with MLP, we will set record levels of prize money and host world-class events, supporting the growth of the sport in Australia.
Major League Pickleball Australia has committed to awarding nearly one million dollars in cash prizes over the upcoming year. This significant investment underscores their commitment to fostering top-tier pickleball competition in the country.
Anthony Liveris, President and co-founder of Pacific Pickleball, expressed that the newly established MLP Australia will serve as a prominent platform for Australia’s elite athletes to demonstrate their talents on a global stage. It’s poised to be a game-changer for the sport.
MLP Australia is set to commence its action-packed calendar from September 8-10 in Brisbane, followed by events in Melbourne and Sydney later in the year. These events are slated to showcase the pinnacle of pickleball in the country and offer the most substantial prize money pool in the southern hemisphere.
Notably, Pacific Pickleball secured recognition as Australia’s official professional pickleball league in May. In collaboration with the sport’s governing body, the Pickleball Australia Association, Pacific Pickleball is determined to harness the momentum of this rapidly growing sport, which has already taken the U.S. by storm.
“The explosive popularity of the sport in Australia has created a strong need for professional events. Participation in the sport currently exceeds 25,000, and membership has doubled in the last 12 months.”Brendan Lee (Pickleball Australia Association)
The MLPlay Format
At all MLP events, each match consists of men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and two rounds of mixed doubles, each contributing one point towards the overall score. The team that secures three points first emerges as the victor.
Games follow a fan-friendly “rally scoring format,” with a target of 21 points. This means points are earned on- or off-serve.
In the event of a 2-2 game score, a distinctive “Dreambreaker” tiebreaker ensues. Here, teams face off in singles, with each player participating in four points before rotating out.
The first team to accumulate 21 points in the Dreambreaker claims the victory. This format adds an exciting layer of intensity to the competition.
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